Student-produced video series promotes ‘stay hopeful’ message amid pandemic

Featured in the new video series, from left: Alister Martin, Sebastián Minaya-Ubiera, and Cecilia Lizotte

May 18, 2020 – A new series of short videos featuring eight people from across Greater Boston, produced by Tariana Little, DrPH ’20, aims to inspire hopefulness during the coronavirus pandemic.

People featured in the videos range from a sixth-grade artist to an emergency room doctor to a restaurant owner who’s been donating food to first responders. They offer reflections, advice, and visions for themselves and others in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Tariana Little

Little said she decided to create the series, called #StayHopeful, amid what seemed like constantly negative news coverage about COVID-19. She and Jonas Meyer—who together co-founded the media agency EmVision Productions to focus on social-impact storytelling—“wanted to inspire positivity for ourselves and others, and had the platform to do so.”

Examples of people featured in the videos include Alister Martin, an emergency room doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and founder of VOtER, an initiative aimed at giving people the opportunity to register to vote while at the hospital; Cecilia Lizotte, whose Nigerian restaurant Suya Joint has been helping feed frontline health care workers; and 12-year-old artist Sebastián Minaya-Ubiera, who makes puppets and paints, and who advises kids who are struggling to “keep going … don’t worry, do what you want, and follow your dreams.”

In one video, Lina Cañon, an MBA student and co-founder of The Nur Collective—a consulting firm offering financial, strategic, and media support to first-generation individuals—admits that “this is a difficult time because it makes us sit with our feelings and our thoughts, watching what is happening in the world.” But, she continues, “I also think it’s energizing to see people organize, to see people get really creative about virtual gatherings and virtual opportunities that are igniting innovation in ways that I haven’t seen before.”

And in another video, hip-hop artist ED O.G. says that, because of the pandemic, “People will appreciate everything more. Because when you lose it, you appreciate it more.”

Karen Feldscher

Photos courtesy Tariana Little